Portland Opera’s annual Newmark productions are always among its most anticipated, not just for the intimate nature of the theater, but for the ability of the company to take risks. With the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia as its coproducer, the opera is tackling an original production of Handel’s Rinaldo, a fantastical tale of a knight in the First Crusade who must battle sorcerers, spirits, and dragons to save the woman he loves—a fitting plot for the opera that first introduced magic effects and magnificent stage machines to London audiences in 1711. Fortunately, our knight will have at his side the fine musicians of Portland Baroque Orchestra as his accompaniment, the second such collaboration for the two organizations. (PBO will also perform its own Handel concerts March 22–24).
"In other words, it’s like Terry Gilliam got hold of Handel’s masterpiece to create The Adventures of Rinaldo Munchausen, starring Prince. And the result is utterly charming. Backed by the expert playing of the Portland Baroque Orchestra in the intimate Newmark Theatre, it is very likely the standout show of the opera’s season..." Read our full review on our Culturephile blog.